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How to remove duplicates in the Photos app?

After I updated to macOS Catalina (version 10.15.4), every photo has TWO copies when I look in the Photos app. Is there any way to remove the duplicate photos? There are hundreds and hundreds of duplicates.

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iBoysoft author Amanda Wong

Amanda Wong

Answered on Friday, April 12, 2024

The duplicates in the Photos app may caused by adding pictures from cameras and mobile devices, copying a photo by error, repeatedly saving the same photos, incorrectly syncing with iCloud, OS error, etc. The duplicates impede search in Photos and eat up storage space. Thus, it is necessary to remove duplicates in Photos.

Given that there are a great number of photos in the Photos app, it is time- and effort-consuming to manually find and delete each duplicate. There are more practical methods you can choose from.

On macOS Monterey and earlier, you can use the New Smart Album feature in the Photos app to delete duplicate photos on Mac. Here's how:

  1. Launch the Photos app.
  2. Choose New Smart Album from the File menu.
  3. Give your Smart Album a name and specify filter criteria in the new window.
  4. Right-click a photo to choose the ones you wish to delete, and then select Delete X Photos.
  5. Click the Delete button after you have verified your deletion.
  6. Click Recently Deleted on the sidebar, and click Delete All to thoroughly remove them.

On macOS Ventura and macOS Sonoma, you can delete duplicates in Photos easily with the added Duplicates album. It automatically detects duplicate items in the Photos Library, and if any duplicate photos are found, the Duplicates album will appear in the sidebar. Click the album and delete unwanted duplicates by clicking the Merge (number) items above each set.

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